Peace With God!

God’s Word Says….

Romans 5:1-5 (GNT)

Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! 3We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. 5This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.

My Thoughts…..

These verses are so packed with good stuff, that it would take a long discourse to celebrate it all. For just a short devotional, I wanted to share a few words with you that I highlighted: a). “Put Right” – please notice that it didn’t say earned, or resulted from any good deed we did. We are put right because of our faith in God. I would highly recommend that we each examine ourselves and recall the day and place that we surrendered our heart to Jesus and placed our faith in Him alone. This is the ONLY WAY friend to be put right with God. b). “Peace” – when we have been ‘put right’ with God there will be an unexplained peace in our lives – peace in, and with God! c). “God’s grace” – can you even imagine that a sinner, filled with enmity towards God, could ever be allowed into His Grace. Friend, this is through ultimate, unselfish, immeasurable love of the Father for His children. I pray that you are experiencing that ‘Grace’ today! d). “The Hope” – as children of God we can boast of that ‘Hope’ that is ours to one day be with Jesus in glory at the right hand of the Father! Praise the name of Jesus! e). “Endurance” – it is so easy to praise the Lord when everything is going good for us, but often we struggle with this characteristic, especially when it seems like the world is against us. I was excited to note that this type of ‘endurance’ or ‘patience’ actually brings “God’s Approval” and this alone is worth the struggles and challenges we endure here on this earth. f). “His love” and “His Gift” – Think about this real good friend: because of our sin God had to send His Son to redeem us. Yet, when we accept Him as Lord, He pours out His love through the precious gift of His Holy Spirit. Wow, who has ever known such a love as that?

Challenge……

Don’t know about you friend, but there is much to celebrate in these verses today! My greatest caution to you is that you not fall into the temptation of wanting to do good, thinking that because you are not an evil person, then you must be a Christian. Friend, to enjoy the peace of God, you must be one of His children. To become a child of His involves a deliberate step by you. For you must humble yourself before Jesus and ask His forgiveness of your sin, and to accept you as His dearly beloved son/daughter. The life that follows is one of peace with God – everlasting peace! Jesus loves you a lot friend! Won’t you consider accepting Him as your Lord and Savior today? Please feel free to drop me a note by email if there is anything I can pray with you about. Jesus loves you, and so do I, friend!

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, thank You for providing the ultimate for us – the ways and means for us to know You as our Lord and Savior, and the promise of eternal life with You in heaven! You are awesome dear God! As I celebrate this today, I am concerned for several of my family members who do not reflect evidence of having accepted You as Lord. Father, I pray that Your Holy Spirit will convict them today, and that they would make a decision for You. I pray asking all this in Your wonderful and majestic name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

As You Go, Tell the Good News!

Scripture: Mark 5.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Mark 5:18-20 (NLT)

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him.

19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”

20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Often we want to be in the limelight, or we want to be identified with a popular evangelist, or we want to be recognized by our church members for what we could do on the mission field or in an area outside of our church. This man who had been demon possessed, but since healed by Jesus, wanted to be with Jesus and minister alongside Him. Just as Jesus told this man, I believe that He would quickly say to us today: friend, get your own house in order first. Before we should talk about going on a mission trip, have we practiced ministering in our own home, or in our neighborhood? How about ministering to those in need right inside our church family? As we share our faith with others we are expanding the ministry of Jesus and the church. As we share our faith with others we are really witnessing to them, and the Bible repeatedly tells us to be bold in our witnessing and sharing of our faith so that we can truly minister to those with little, or no faith. Let us have a renewed commitment to share our faith with those that we come in contact with today. As we go, let us tell!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I am thankful for all You have done in my life, and I can very easily tell You that. Today, please help me to share that news with others that I come in contact with. May others know that the joy I have, comes from You and You alone. May they have a desire to know the One from whom I gain my joy, so that they too may share in this wonderful joy and endless flow of blessings. Thank You Father for Your joy in my heart today!

 

àI would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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We Will Act Like Our Master

Scripture: Leviticus 17-18.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Leviticus 18:2-5 (NLT)

2
“Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. I am the Lord your God.

3
So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life.

4 You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God.

5 If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

God delivered the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt. He took care of them in some miraculous ways each day while in the wilderness and yet He found it an ongoing opportunity to see them overcome their worldly weaknesses each day. Friends, this is exactly how I see our situation today. God received us as a forgiven people when we accepted Him as Lord and Savior, yet we struggle through life each day facing very serious temptations and subsequently very challenging decisions on which master we will follow. Jesus is reminding me through His word today, that He alone is God and considering that I have accepted His as Lord and Ruler of my life, I must act like Him, obey His decrees/laws/written Word and follow His will and way every day. I must act so much like He did when He walked this earth that folk will take me for a ‘Jesus kid’ or a Christian or a child of God. In growing up I remember my parents saying that I was not to act like my unruly friends, but in a manner like they had taught me and brought me up. I feel like God is reminding me here to do the same. Some key ways of doing this are included in the verses observed above:

  1. Do not act like the people that do not know God;
  2. Do not imitate our old way of life;
  3. Obey God’s regulations and decrees;

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

I am a blessed man, and I feel like I can say that because although I may not have been looked down on as an awful person, yet God accepted me as His child when I invited Him to rule and reign in my life. As part of my commitment to Him I promised to follow His will and way every day. Thank You for reminding me in the above of the areas that I must emphasize on to truly declare You Lord each day. Thank You for Your Word to guide me each day. Thank You for Your love that surrounds me every day. Thank You for the hope that is mine in knowing that one day I will be with You in heaven. While here on this earth, I humbly ask that You guide my every step, my every decision, my every word and every action so that I may declare who is Lord of my life. Without ever saying a word, may others recognize to whom I belong.

God’s Presence Sets Us Apart

Scripture: Exodus 32-33.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Exodus 33:15-16 (NLT)

15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

In the preceding verses we see where God had really gotten angry with the Israelites for melting their gold jewelry and making a golden calf to worship, while Moses was up on the mountain spending time with God and not babysitting them. In fact, God became so angry until He decided to prepare the path for the ongoing journey of Moses and his people, but that He would not personally go with them – primarily because He didn’t want to lose His patience with them. I love the plea of Moses, and wish that I could take more actions similar to this during my leadership of God’s people. Moses pleaded with God for His divine presence with and through His people, otherwise he (Moses) was afraid that they would lose their identity with other people of the land. This sounds so much like where we are at today, it seems like the church (God’s people) has lost its flavor, its identity, its character. In fact, lost its first love, and therefore does not appear to the world to be anything like the Jesus they have heard us preach and teach about. There is little evidence that would set us apart from the people of this wicked world in which we live. Oh my, this is so sad, because God teaches us all through His Word about His character and the characteristics that we are to imitate in order to be more like our Father. Unfortunately, we have chosen to accept many of the precepts of the world instead, so we look more like them than we do the Father. Oh, how it must sadden my Lord when He sees His stubborn people who refuses to humble ourselves, pray and seek to serve Him wholeheartedly so that He might dwell among us and set us apart as His chosen people for a time such as this in which we live.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord, I am called by Your name. Please help me to: humble myself and pray often; Seek Your face in all that I do; Turn from my wicked ways and follow Your ways daily, so that You may claim me as Yours, use me as Your servant and heal me of my weaknesses and indecision, and in turn heal this land in which I live so that our eyes may be opened to Your love and Your truth, with anticipation of the day that You will call us home to be with You in Heaven. In other words, please help me to be all that I can be for You while here on this earth so that I can look into Your welcoming face and recognize the pleasure that You will have in being in my presence without anger. Thank You for loving me enough to encourage me through Your Word to live a life worthy of the Lamb of God! I need thee every hour, dear Lord!

God Can Use Us to Bless Others

Scripture: Genesis 38-39  

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

2 The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did.4 This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned.5 From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. ~ Gen 39:2-5 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I am always so thrilled to notice times when God blesses His people that serve Him faithfully. There is no indication in this passage that Joseph ever had to plead before God for anything, but many blessings were bestowed upon Joseph in return for his faithfulness and ongoing persistent commitment to God, and all this in spite of the circumstances where he had been sold by his own brothers, now resulting in him living in a foreign land with total strangers. I remember a plaque that read something like “God can do anything through a life totally committed to Him”. Joseph had no power to bless the home of Potiphar, but God certainly had the power to do it because of the faithfulness of His servant Joseph. I want to make my life so available to God and so responsive to His will, that He could easily shower His blessings through me and accomplish much for His glory.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

My prayer this morning will actually come directly from God’s Word, Ephesians 3:20-21:

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.  Eph 3:20-21 (NLT)

May the God of Peace be evident in Us!

Scripture: Genesis 26 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

26 One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander.27 “Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.”28 They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant.29 Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the Lord has blessed you!”30 So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together.31 Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace. Gen 26:26-31 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I’m sure that sometimes God must look at us in dismay and say, why are you being such a brat and acting this way, refusing to accept this person in love through faith in Me? After all didn’t I give you what you have to use for my glory, and isn’t this person approaching you with a peaceful intention? So often I’m afraid that we tend to feel like we are especially blessed by God and since our little feelings were hurt, why should we then share our blessings with the same person that forced us into a challenging corner in the first place. This lesson from Isaac shows me that even the same king that kicked him off his property and out of his town, which I’m sure must have created quite a stir for Isaac’s camp, yet Isaac accepted the king with open arms and in peace, agreeing to a treaty proposed by the king. What a lesson to learn here! Hopefully we will be called into a situation where we could make the difference between peace and separation; showing God’s love through our actions, rather than allowing Satan to take credit for the way that we respond to such peace offerings. May this be a year filled with God’s love expressed through us in ways that will shock Satan and his cohorts. May God win the battles though His people and may He receive glory for all that is accomplished in His name!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, there are situations and scenarios in our lives that require Your power in our lives to help us make right and peaceful decisions. I believe that You are the same God today that You were when You helped Isaac overcome the challenging decisions he had to make when approached by the king. I believe that You can, and will honor our call for peaceful resolutions and treaties so that You may be honored and receive glory for the miraculous decisions that we make. Please help me to always think primarily like You would and then depend wholeheartedly on You for power to overcome the forces of this world and Satan. May the victories and/or peaceful resolutions that occur this year through my life, and those for which I may influence through my church, bring You glory and be a visible display of Your power to a lost world.

Speak in Boldness, But with a Humble Spirit

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Matthew 3

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matt 3:8 (NLT)

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” Matt 3:13-14 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Two things in particular caught my attention in this passage this morning:

  1. The boldness of John the BaptistHe was on mission for God and seems like he said what he felt led of God to say to the people that he preached to, without fear of repercussion from the government of that day, or the leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees). It seems like today we have become so politically correct in our churches in order to not hurt anyone’s feelings (and I don’t believe for a minute that we can only speak the truth if we know that someone’s feelings got hurt), but it just seems like we are afraid to say it like it is. An old saying that I always remember is that ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’, in other words if something that was said speaks to issues in your life, then obviously God is dealing with you through His spoken Word. As a people we have become so ‘thin-skinned’ that we retaliate when our feelings are hurt by holding back on our tithes, or not attending church, or gossiping about the preacher, etc, etc. Assuming that we have all prayed earnestly for the man of God, that he may discern God’s will and Word for us when he stands in the pulpit before us, are we then not challenging God Himself when we retaliate against the preaching or even God’s written Word? How dare us?
  2. The humbleness of John the Baptist – A man known for his boldness in speaking out, yet when Jesus comes to be baptized, John the Baptist said that in no way is he worthy to baptize the Savior of the world. How true this is. No matter how close we feel like we have become to God, we are but dirty rags compared to the only pure and Holy One of God. I believe that this is well worth keeping foremost in our minds so that we don’t let self pride come in the way. We are nothing without Christ, and we personally can do nothing miraculous, such as winning a lost soul or healing a sick person, but only through prayer and humble submission to the power and will of God. We should always pass any praise or glory straight on up to God for anything accomplished through us. It is encouraging for us to see lives touched by God because of something He may have said through us, but may our Words and actions be so filled with His love and His power that He may accomplish great things for the kingdom in spite of our human shortcomings.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

I believe that much could be accomplished through us and our churches today if we used the boldness displayed by John the Baptist, yet the humble spirit that he displayed in the presence of the Holy Son of God. Lord Jesus, it is You that I serve and You that deserves all the praise for anything accomplished in Your name here on this earth. Please may I find boldness in serving You, but be ready to step aside and let the glory all go up straight to You. Please have Your will and way in my life today, and may  there be opportunities for Your glory to shine through in something that I may say or do today so that Your kingdom may be fulfilled. Opportunities will come and go, and so will my words, but I believe that as You use me as Your humble servant today, Your words spoken through me will touch the hearts of Your people with lasting power and effectiveness. To God be the Glory for all that will be accomplished in Your name today!

One Who Reflects Christ

A Quality of a Mature, Reproducing Disciple of Jesus Christ

 

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Eph. 4:15, 2 Cor. 3:18, Gal. 5:22–23, Matt. 22:37–39

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

  1. Truthful – Ephesians 4:15 ~ Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head
  2. Facial Expression – 2 Corinthians 3:18 ~ So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord’s Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.
  3. Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23 ~
    But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
  4. Love God and Neighbors – Matthew 22:37-39 ~ And He replied to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

  1. Truthful – Our love for, and respect of, the One that we serve, Jesus, should force us to be like, and do just like, Jesus. He always told the truth and so should we. Then according to this verse, we will be more complete in growing to be more like Jesus, our Savior and soon coming King.
  2. Facial Expression – I believe that if my mind is centered on the glorious Savior that I love and adore and who blesses me so immensely every day, then my heart will be overjoyed and my face will surely express that joy that I feel. As a child I sang a chorus ‘I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart’, and having that kind of joy in my heart should always reflect in my facial expression. It is almost impossible to have the ‘joy, joy, joy, joy’ in my heart, but yet a sour/unhappy expression on my face. This verse says that having this type of joy to where it is expressed on our faces, makes us more like our glorious Lord!
  3. Fruit of the Spirit – I love how the writer says that there is no law against any of these fruit being expressed in and through us, and what is amazing is that even today there is still no law against reflecting these character qualities. These are qualities of Jesus our Savior. These are fruit of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. If we struggle with any of these, I believe that we need to go back to the cross and make sure that everything is right in that decision that we thought we first made, because I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit will mess up in not reflecting the ‘fruit’ qualities.
  4. Love God and Neighbors – I love the way that the Amplified Bible emphasizes that our love for God is the first, the great, most important and principal commandment! Wow, that really sums it up on where our allegiance belongs! Of course, additional emphasis is on loving God with everything we have within us – heart, soul and mind. But the later part of this Scripture goes even deeper, because it says that we should similarly love our neighbor (those that we come into contact with daily – those that we should be neighborly to). I believe that this is a lot more challenging, because these ‘neighbors’ sometimes lie, backbite, or even try to harm us, yet God says in His Word that we must love them with all of our heart, soul and mind, in the same way that we love Him and strive to be a reflection of Him.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

All of the above are very tall orders dear God, and I acknowledge today that I can only accomplish these with Your love, strength and guidance. I want to reflect You though my every word and action. Please be my constant guide and director each and every day. Please give me strength and determination to reflect You in every circumstance. Lord, may my life be fallow ground in which Your Holy Spirit will find freedom to reflect all the Fruit of the Spirit, so that You may receive honor and glory.